With the kids home for a while I want to start doing crafts with them. My kids work hard all morning on their homework. It’s great to give them a brain break in the afternoon. This has led me to think about what really makes a kid’s craft great. Here are some things I’ve discovered.
You don’t have to spend lots of money for the activity to be fun for them. There are lots of ways you can save money and find great deals on crafts. Look online for free ideas and activities for your kids. I have found lots of fun activities for my kids using items we already have at home. With Easter coming, I like to put some kind of fun craft in their baskets.
My favorite stores for inexpensive crafts are the discount stores like Ross, Burlington, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning. It is random what you will find there so I’m always on the lookout. WalMart and Target have great clearance sales on crafts. Focus on crafts that might be interesting for your kids. Since most of the stores are closed right now, you can find many deals online. Look for coupons on their websites. For example, Joann’s, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby all have online coupons that you can save you 20-40%. Plus they offer free shipping after spending a certain amount. Sign up for their email list and you will get additional discounts and deals. Amazon also has some great deals so I’d check there also. Here’s my post about saving money.
Not too complicated.
Consider the ages and abilities of your children. Nothing is worse than having them get frustrated because it is too hard or intricate for them. Find things at their ability levels that they are able to do with little or no assistance.
You want to find activities that the kids will enjoy and will grab their attention. I have found many great activities, but we have also bombed on some. Don’t get discouraged! Even the lame ones still get us laughing making it a fun family activity. That is the ultimate goal to have fun together as a family.
Ask around. People are always willing to give advice on social media! I have found lots of great ideas for crafts from my super creative friends. Find activities that will allow them to express themselves and show their creativity.
How long is this craft going to take? Little kids don’t have as long of attention spans. Consider getting something smaller or easier if it will take a while to complete. Also consider if it will take multiple days, where will you store it? I really don’t like to leave crafts out for multiple days because they are usually very messy.
Learn while they play.
The teacher in me wants every activity and craft to secretly teach them as well. If you can sneak in learning into the play-its a WIN-WIN! There are a lot of STEM activities, mazes, and games that can be quite fun for kids. Science projects can be a lot of fun and will teach them as well.
Find crafts that don’t take up lots of space or have a purpose afterwards. It’s great when they can make something as a gift or that can be used later. My kids love making Perler beads but what do you do with them after their done? We started making doll size characters so they could play with them after. My daughter was little and made a small cell phone and played with that. Now they are discovering how to make 3D boxes to hold things.
Here are some examples of things that we have done.
- Stickers (for younger kids). My kids loved pulling stickers off and sticking them to things. You can make a simple page with circles or hearts or other shapes to stick them on.
- Perler Beads. You can buy bigger ones for little kids. My kids have always enjoyed creating things with these. We have a shoe box for each of them to store them in.
- Folding Paper Airplanes. Decorate them with stickers or markers. Have a contest of distance or a target basket that you can get them into.
- Oragami. My oldest really enjoys folding oragami. She loves to make things to give to people like flowers. She also used it for a project she did in school. You can get easy to learn kits to get them started. We’ve found lots of patterns online so once they get it, they can really get creative.
- Make Nerf gun range. If it’s nice, do it outside.
- My girls loved finger knitting.
- Duct Tape Crafts. It’s fun to create things out of Duct Tape. Here’s a water bottle holder and an Endless cube.
- Rainbow Loom Bands are a lot of fun. Here is a dragon scale cuff you can make.
- Friendship Bracelets can be a lot of fun and bring me way back. Here’s a kit you can buy.
- Build an indoor fort. We used to do this a lot. You can tuck blankets into the top bunk, use a table and make a fort under it, or drape blankets over chairs and set up a smaller on. Get creative! Here’s one you can make. Big cardboard boxes work great and you can have them decorate them.
- String Art is very fun and kids can design lots of cool things or they can do their name. You can buy string art kits.
- Set up a magic show. Kids can each learn a trick to share. Here is a magic show kit. Here are some science related magic tricks.
- Make Marshmallow Animals. You could also make cars or trucks or the tallest structure with marshmallows and toothpicks. I’m always impressed with how creative they can be.
- Make a Shadow Puppet Theater.
- Lego craft day. There are so many fun challenges and things you can build together. We liked building houses and designing each room. There are so many ideas online. Some examples to make are spinning tops, a bridge, animal mosaic, and their names.
- Make a Plastic Spoon Lotus.
- Diamond Painting is so much fun but it does take a lot of time. Start with a small project. I have a big landscape one that I keep in a bin when I’m not doing it.
- Have a Bob Ross night. We got some of his videos at the library and tried one of his paintings. Our art skills are not great but we laughed and had a lot of fun together. You just need a canvas and acrylic paints. We just used art paper and it worked okay.
- Outdoor crafts…Diy kites, shadow puppets, and more. We decorated our driveway with chalk art. If the weather is nice, get those kids outside. It will do them a lot of good.
I’d love to hear what your family is crafting. Crafts are a great way for the kids to express themselves and have quality fun together. Look for some opportunities to get your kids crafting! They’ll love it!
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